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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 5:34 AM
fredinno fredinno is offline
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Water Infrastructure Discussion

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-n...t-a-heavy-cost

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City of North Vancouver mayor Darrell Mussatto, who is also chair of Metro Vancouver’s utilities committee, noted that the region is trying to be proactive — water restrictions could begin as early as May 1 in 2018, compared with the current May 15, which is consistent with predictions for climate change.

“We are taking this report seriously,” he said.

A regional study is also looking at the pros and cons of residential water metering. Longer-term solutions may include deepening of the intake at Coquitlam reservoir and raising the height of the Seymour dam to create more storage capacity for drier periods.
Quote:
There is potential for irrigated farming to increase from 15,000 hectares to 35,000 in Metro Vancouver, he said, but new infrastructure will have to be built.

The regional government currently supplies water to less than 470 hectares — most greenhouses on a metered system. That leaves farmers to use their own wells or surface water sources, including from the Fraser River pumped from ditches.

“Irrigation systems will have to become more efficient and also managed properly to make sure water taken and applied is beneficial and not wasted,” he said.

Reduced flows on the Fraser combined with rising ocean levels will allow salt to expand its reach upriver to Pattullo Bridge by 2050, he added.

“Water will have to be drawn between tide cycles and there is no guarantee that sufficient water will be available.”

Raising Dam heights and lowering water Intakes might work for the medium-term. But if we're talking about a Metro Vancouver Water system that extends from West Vancouver to Chilliwack, we might need a bit more water than upgrading the existing dams would offer.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chehalis_Lake

Is a potential option- pristine, and not really used for anything other than fishing. It's far away from anything, (the only way to get to it is via forest Service roads, and it's closest to Harrison Hot Springs), and it's too small without building a dam of some sort.

I don't think it's particularly worth it.


Harrison and Stave are potential options- running out of water is highly unlikely, and would thus remove the likelihood of requiring any water restrictions into the future.
However, there are major quality issues here- at Stave due to Miracle Valley, and at Harrison, because of Harrison Hot Springs.

There were plans for a series of Run-of-river dams in Upper Pitt, but no news stories have come out since 2008- back when run-of-river was booming in BC. It seems to be dead, so I'm ignoring it.





The only real two solutions are a new dam, or using Alouette Lake.

There are two areas of concern in Alouette- first, Alouette is connected to Stave Lake by a water tunnel- supposedly to manage water levels. This would be permanently blocked off.

Alouette is also a recreational lake. Recreational facilities could be moved to Indian Arm, Stave Lake, and Pinecone Burke.

However, a significant amount of cash must be injected into the Provincial park system, either from Metro Van, or the Province, to do so. Keep in mind the BC Provincial Parks Picnicking facilities in the Fraser Valley are already crowded and underfunded.

Moving them would thus be an extra cost that cannot be absorbed elsewhere in the government.

A new dam would be extremely far from Metro Vancouver, however. The good sites have already been dammed.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 5:55 AM
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desalination plant.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 1:08 PM
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desalination plant.
Seems pretty unnecessary with the amount of water resources we have. How about we just charge Netstle a reasonable sum to extract and sell our water and then we can use than money to fund expansion....
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 4:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fredinno View Post
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-n...t-a-heavy-cost


The only real two solutions are a new dam, or using Alouette Lake.
I don't think so.

As is, Metro Vancouver barely uses Coquitlam Lake. A large portion ends up in Burrard Inlet after going through the Buntzen Power Station, which doesn't make that much power.

Replace that power capacity with some solar, and wind turbines and you've got a lot more water for the city.

There is room to greatly increase the amount of water stored for summer use. Even just raising the Seymour Dam is a large increase in supply. Plenty of water is spilled in the spring because there is less storage capacity than the river system contains. Capilano also has excess water, but the dam would be harder to raise.

Fredinno, you make a lot of conclusive statements when you don't seem to really know much technical detail about the subject matter. That's not a great thing on this board because generally a lot of people on here have very specialised knowledge, and diluting that with a bunch of conclusive sounding hypotheticals is misleading and makes it harder to recognise the real body of the discussion. You should qualify more of your statements with probablys and maybes if you don't know for certain.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 6:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex Mackinnon View Post
I don't think so.

As is, Metro Vancouver barely uses Coquitlam Lake. A large portion ends up in Burrard Inlet after going through the Buntzen Power Station, which doesn't make that much power.
I don't know the geography, but can't you keep the power generation and use the water for Metro Van supply?
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 6:27 PM
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I don't know the geography, but can't you keep the power generation and use the water for Metro Van supply?
I'd imagine so, isn't run of river become quite popular too? There must be some places where we could implement that.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex Mackinnon View Post
I don't think so.

As is, Metro Vancouver barely uses Coquitlam Lake. A large portion ends up in Burrard Inlet after going through the Buntzen Power Station, which doesn't make that much power.

Replace that power capacity with some solar, and wind turbines and you've got a lot more water for the city.

There is room to greatly increase the amount of water stored for summer use. Even just raising the Seymour Dam is a large increase in supply. Plenty of water is spilled in the spring because there is less storage capacity than the river system contains. Capilano also has excess water, but the dam would be harder to raise.

Fredinno, you make a lot of conclusive statements when you don't seem to really know much technical detail about the subject matter. That's not a great thing on this board because generally a lot of people on here have very specialised knowledge, and diluting that with a bunch of conclusive sounding hypotheticals is misleading and makes it harder to recognise the real body of the discussion. You should qualify more of your statements with probablys and maybes if you don't know for certain.

This was a what if...


I'm thinking 100y level long term- technically we could close up Buntzen for overflow only and get a similar effect.- moving the facilities to Belcarra or Indian Arm.

I know there's storage capacity left over in the existing dams. I pretty much acknowledged that in the first post.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
I don't know the geography, but can't you keep the power generation and use the water for Metro Van supply?
That's pretty much the current situation?
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 7:03 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
I don't know the geography, but can't you keep the power generation and use the water for Metro Van supply?
We don't actually need any of the power generation (there are more line losses to keep using the Columbia River dam system, but that is primarily where Metro Vancouver's energy comes from anyway.) If worse comes to worse in a low-snowpack season they can just curtail generation. Buntzen Lake generation is only 76.8 MW. It probably only still exists because it's cheap to maintain. (All Hydro facilities are cheap to operate unless there are serious deficiencies.) The original powerhouse powered the original streetcars.

For the most part, the only reason we have Burrard Thermal (950MW) at all is because of spikey local loads AFAIK, and BC Hydro wants to shut it down permanently (probably a bad idea, but it's too expensive to run without a full load, and emissions makes it lower the air quality of Metro Vancouver.)

Which comes back to how do we capture more water. Well the solution is obvious. We don't. Desalination is the only permanent option, and one of the quicker ways to do that is to boil and capture the water, hence look back at Burrard Thermal or build a Geothermal plant. The less politically viable option is to capture water from the Fraser before it gets to sea level, which means goodbye Salmon fishery.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 7:11 PM
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Which comes back to how do we capture more water. Well the solution is obvious. We don't. Desalination is the only permanent option, and one of the quicker ways to do that is to boil and capture the water, hence look back at Burrard Thermal or build a Geothermal plant. The less politically viable option is to capture water from the Fraser before it gets to sea level, which means goodbye Salmon fishery.
With all due respect, that plan is insane. Do you want Metro Vancouver water to cost more than gas?
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 7:40 PM
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Yeah, if we are even slightly smart and manage our water supply well this is an option we shouldn't have to take for 500 years...
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 7:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
For the most part, the only reason we have Burrard Thermal (950MW) at all is because of spikey local loads AFAIK, and BC Hydro wants to shut it down permanently (probably a bad idea, but it's too expensive to run without a full load, and emissions makes it lower the air quality of Metro Vancouver.)
I'm pretty sure Burrard Thermal is already shut down.

The Buntzen Power Plant needs the vertical drop to sea level to generate significant power. Hence why it dumps fresh water into the ocean.

Utilising drinking water for power production could be an option, but you would also have to start pumping the water back up hills to get it to the distribution system, so you would probably not break even.

Much of the city is barely below the Coquitlam Lake level (155masl). Currently gravity does most of the pumping works. If you generated power from the water flows, then you'd also have to use power to get the water to where it's consumed after.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 10:06 PM
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If you generated power from the water flows, then you'd also have to use power to get the water to where it's consumed after.
Just build a seperate intake system for consumer water.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 10:11 PM
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Just build a seperate intake system for consumer water.
You mean like is currently there? Some water is used by BC Hydro and ends up in Buntzen Lake, then the power station. Some water ends up in the MV distribution system and goes down Pipeline Rd. to the city.
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
We don't actually need any of the power generation (there are more line losses to keep using the Columbia River dam system, but that is primarily where Metro Vancouver's energy comes from anyway.) If worse comes to worse in a low-snowpack season they can just curtail generation. Buntzen Lake generation is only 76.8 MW. It probably only still exists because it's cheap to maintain. (All Hydro facilities are cheap to operate unless there are serious deficiencies.) The original powerhouse powered the original streetcars.

For the most part, the only reason we have Burrard Thermal (950MW) at all is because of spikey local loads AFAIK, and BC Hydro wants to shut it down permanently (probably a bad idea, but it's too expensive to run without a full load, and emissions makes it lower the air quality of Metro Vancouver.)

Which comes back to how do we capture more water. Well the solution is obvious. We don't. Desalination is the only permanent option, and one of the quicker ways to do that is to boil and capture the water, hence look back at Burrard Thermal or build a Geothermal plant. The less politically viable option is to capture water from the Fraser before it gets to sea level, which means goodbye Salmon fishery.
Well, Site C should provide enough spare peak capacity to kill the Burrard once and for all. We also have a few natural gas plants in the North that are used "in case of outages" (?) and also absorb peak demand.


If we need more capacity (electric cars?), we could revisit Site 'E', or just make another RFP for IPPs.


In any case, Buntzen power generation should probably close if we want to ensure we would have a secure water supply...


Ruskin Dam was recently upgraded despite producing only 114 MW (and that was AFTER upgrading...), and Stave Dam was upgraded, producing 90 MW.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruskin_Dam_and_Powerhouse


BC hydro sure takes those small dams seriously.

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Originally Posted by Reecemartin View Post
Yeah, if we are even slightly smart and manage our water supply well this is an option we shouldn't have to take for 500 years...
Manage as in water restrictions, meters, and rationing?
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2017, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fredinno View Post
Well, Site C should provide enough spare peak capacity to kill the Burrard once and for all. We also have a few natural gas plants in the North that are used "in case of outages" (?) and also absorb peak demand.


If we need more capacity (electric cars?), we could revisit Site 'E', or just make another RFP for IPPs.


In any case, Buntzen power generation should probably close if we want to ensure we would have a secure water supply...


Ruskin Dam was recently upgraded despite producing only 114 MW (and that was AFTER upgrading...), and Stave Dam was upgraded, producing 90 MW.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruskin_Dam_and_Powerhouse


BC hydro sure takes those small dams seriously.



Manage as in water restrictions, meters, and rationing?
We have a massive amount of freshwater resources, I'm simply pointing out that most of the world does fine with much much less.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2017, 12:43 AM
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I'm pretty sure Burrard Thermal is already shut down.
Yes, it was shut down in 2016.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2017, 2:05 AM
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BC hydro sure takes those small dams seriously.



Manage as in water restrictions, meters, and rationing?
Rationing?

At worst last year, we had about 50% of the reservoirs left full. They operated under the assumption that the drought would keep up until November.

Vancouverites use more water per capita than just about any place in the world. We don't even meter it in most Lower Mainland cities. Per capita consumption is also falling because people are getting rid of their lawns.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2017, 6:13 PM
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Rationing?

At worst last year, we had about 50% of the reservoirs left full. They operated under the assumption that the drought would keep up until November.

Vancouverites use more water per capita than just about any place in the world. We don't even meter it in most Lower Mainland cities. Per capita consumption is also falling because people are getting rid of their lawns.
I dunno.

It was also partially because the article about climate change linked implied that farmland would be increasingly irrigated with city water, so that would mitigate any gains in lawn watering or water usage.

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Old Posted Mar 1, 2017, 7:02 PM
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I dunno.

It was also partially because the article about climate change linked implied that farmland would be increasingly irrigated with city water, so that would mitigate any gains in lawn watering or water usage.

This kind of makes sense in a roundabout way. A lot of the water for irrigation for Delta farms comes from the Fraser. There's an intake at 80 Street for it. There's a salt wedge along the bottom of the Fraser that extends up-river, and when the river flow gets too low, the salinity of the river at this intake gets too high to make it unsuitable for irrigation.

With climate change comes higher sea levels, so the salt wedge would gradually extend further and further up the Fraser, which means that this irrigation intake becomes less useful for irrigation water, so farms would have to get fresh water from some other source.
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